American-Egyptians and supporters are deeply disappointed by Mubarak’s refusal to step down as President. CAIR-Chicago Communications Coordinators shared how upset they were with the Egyptian President’s decision, and their hopes for a peaceful resolution.
As crowds of protesters in Egypt erupted in anger, Egyptians in Chicago were glued to their televisions and computers as they grappled with what they called shocking news: The president of Egypt was not stepping down despite weeks of protests and hints that he would do so.
“He gave a 50,000-word speech that didn’t include the only word people wanted to hear, which is goodbye, said Ahmed Rehab, a democracy activist from Chicago in Egypt to join the protests. “Everybody was just sitting there not listening except for that word and when they didn’t hear it, that’s it, they were done. They didn’t want to hear anything else.”
“I think in order to have a true democracy, all segments of society, including the Muslim Brotherhood, including the left-wing socialists, including Copts [Egyptian Christians] who have been traditionally marginalized in national politics, need to be represented. We need to believe that democracy allows everybody to have a voice,” said Ahmed Rehab regarding how the future Egyptian political system should function.
“What I can tell you is that one of the demands of this revolution was change. People want democracy. They want freedom. They want human rights,” said Ahmed Rehab.
“They want transparency in government. And they want an end to the politically corrupt atmosphere that really permeates many levels of government. Not just at the very top, but through all levels.”
Mubarak forces in plain clothes and with horses and camels cracked down on protestors. Today’s guests discuss what’s happening and what may come next:
Cherif Bassiouni is President Emeritus of DePaul University’s International Human Rights Institute.
Ahmed Rehab is Executive Director of CAIR-Chicago. He’s participated in the Cairo protests and blogs about his experiences at Mindful of Dreams.
Hundreds of thousands of protesters took to the streets across Egypt today in the largest demonstrations yet. Ahmed Rehab spent the day in Tahrir Square in Cairo, site of one of the largest gatherings. He tells us about the peaceful day of celebration. LISTEN HERE
Ahmed Rehab of CAIR-Chicago shares updates from the heart of Cairo where he is taking part in the pro-democracy revolution.
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